Stem Cells In Disease Modelling and Drug Discovery 2018

Inaugural International Conference  

June 17-18, 2018

Monash Institute for Pharmaceutical Sciences
Monash University, Parkville Campus

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Focus of the Conference

Stem cell technology has the potential to enhance our understanding of human disease and transform the process of drug discovery by providing more relevant biological models for selection of drug candidates. Despite its common practice within the pharmaceutical industry, targeted drug discovery is a relatively inefficient process. Approximately 90% of drug candidates fail in clinical development, 50% failing in phase III clinical trials, at huge cost to the pharmaceutical industry. In the majority of cases the reason for the lack of progression through clinical development to drug product approval is either lack of efficacy or unexpected toxicity in humans. This failure is the result of candidate selection using inadequate models of human disease, a weakness that can be addressed using more informative human cell culture models.

The potential of stem cell technology in disease modelling and drug discovery has been clear to many observers but examples of translation to practice are limited. With so many potential applications of stem cell technology in regenerative medicine and cell therapy, it is often difficult to find time at general meetings to focus on the development of human cellular models for drug discovery.

The conference begins on Sunday afternoon, with a networking function in the evening, and will continue on Monday with invited international speakers. There will be an opportunity for short oral presentations from participants. Abstracts are invited

The SCDMDD 2018 meeting will be held in Melbourne immediately prior to the annual meeting of the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) and will provide a welcome opportunity to focus attention on pharmaceutical applications of stem cell technology.

Who will attend?

SCDMDD 2018 will bring together academic and industrial disease modelling and drug discovery scientists to review the state of the art in this important field. The meeting will take place immediately prior to the 2018 ISSCR meeting in Melbourne, and will attract international participation.


The meeting will:

  • identify a cohort of key research groups and associated companies
  • identify mechanisms to support advancement of the field
  • act as a catalyst for future scientific meetings
  • identify opportunities for collaborative development of methods to accelerate progress and reduction to practice.